Births- Fertility Rate
- The UK's Fertility rate has hit an all time low of 1.63 in 2001.
- More women are remaining childless than in the past.
- Average age to have first child is now 29.6yrs old.
- Older women are less fertile therefore have fewer fertile years remaining and will not be able to larger families.
- The UKs Fertility rate has reduced alot- in the 1960s it reached a peak of 2.94 (durin the baby boom)
Reasons for Decline in Birth Rate
- Changes in the position of women- Legal equality with men. More equality at home and in the workplace.
- Decline in Infant mortality- Fewer children born as less are 'expected' to die.
- Children have become and economic liability- It's expensive to raise children (0-21years= £1/4 million.)
- Child centred family- Childhood is a socially important time. This has encouraged a shift towards 'quality' from 'quantity.'
Effects of Changes in Fertility
- The Family- Smaller family= both men and women can go to work however bigger families may be well off so can still afford childcare and go to work.
- Dependency Ratio- The reducing number of children= reduce in burden on tax payer HOWEVER fewer children= fewer people in future workforce so dependency ratio increases.
- Public Services & Policies- Fewer schools and maternity wards. Also impacts on housing being built. It may come down to political decisions e.g. instead of fewer schools, smaller class sizes.
Decline in Death Rate
N.L. Tranter (1996)
- 3/4 decline in death rate from about 1850-1970
- Due to medical advancement meaning decline in infectious diseases e.g. small pox, measles, scarlet fever, flu, typhoid and diphtheria.
- By 1950s diseases of affluence had taken over e.g. CHD or cancer.
- In 1900 the death rate was 19 by 2007 it had fallen to almost 10.
Reasons for decline in Death Rate
- Improved Nutrition- Thomas McKeown (1972) These account for halving the death rate. It reduced resistance to disease.
- Medical Improvements- Advancement in surgery, antibiotics, immunisation and maternity services since the 1950's.
- Public health measures and environmental improvements- Local government pass and enforce new laws including housing improvements.
- Other Social Changes- Decline in dangerous manual jobs, smaller families mean a reduced rate of transmission, greater knowledge of causes of illness and higher income allows healthier lifestyles.
- Males born in 1900 could expect to live until they were 50 (57 for females.)
- Males born in 2003-05 can expect to live until they were 76.9 (81.2 for females)
Life expectancy increase by about every 2 years per decade.
There are still class, gender and regional differences e.g.
- North UK/ South UK divide.
- Females have higher life expectancy than males.
- If you're from a higher class you're expected to live longer.
Average age in UK in 2007 was 39.6 years- this is set to continue to rise.
The ageing population is a result of:
- Increased life expectancy.
- Decline in infant mortality.
- Decline in fertility rate.
Effects of an ageing population
- Public services.
- One-person pensioner households.
- The dependency ratio.
Social problems- Griffiths Report (1988) Society saw the elderly as a problem due to escalating health and social care costs for the elderly.
Hirsch (2005)- A number of policies will need to change- main problem is financing elderly e.g. paying more from savings or taxes or working longer.
The majority of migration out of the UK to the USA and old common wealth countries (e.g. Canada, Australia & New Zealand) since 1900.
This had been for mainly for economic reasons e.g. those countries needed a labour force.
It also was to boost ties with commonwealth countries.